Leslie Kish Papers: 1952-2001
Summary Information
Title: Leslie Kish Papers
Creator: Kish, Leslie, 1910-
Inclusive dates: 1952-2001
Extent: 6 linear feet
Abstract:
Sociologist, a founder of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, specialist in scientific population sampling. Biographical and autobiographical information; including some details on service with Abraham Lincoln Brigade; University of Michigan administrative files; department of sociology course materials; files relating to summer programs in sampling techniques for foreign statisticians; papers on sampling and related topics; files from his association with the Institute for Social Research; organizational files and correspondence.
Call number: 0269 Aa 2
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Joel A. Blanco

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The papers were transferred to the Bentley Historical Library from the Kish family in 2000 and 2001. Donor no. 9035

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Leslie Kish Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Leslie Kish was born in 1910 in Poprad, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in Slovakia. He emigrated to the United with his family in 1925. In 1937, concerned about the threat of a fascist sweep through Europe, Kish volunteered with the International Brigade to fight the Spanish Loyalists.

He returned home in 1939 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the City College of New York with a degree in mathematics. He then moved to Washington DC, when he was employed first at the US Census Bureau, then at the US Department of Agriculture, where he joined a group of social scientists, including psychologist Rensis Likert, who were creating a survey research unit within the department. Again, his career was interrupted by a war. In 1942-1945, he served in the US Army Air Corps as a meteorologist.

In 1947, Kish moved to the University of Michigan with Likert and others, to found the Institute for Social Research, the world's largest academic survey and research organization. One of the programs that he initiated for the institute was the Sampling Program for Foreign Statisticians offered in the summer and that now has two generations of alumni in more that 100 countries. During his early years at Michigan, Kish combined full time statistical work with the completion of an MA in mathematical statistics in 1948 and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1952.

The superiority of the sampling techniques that he developed was first established in the 1948 US presidential election. A small national probability sample of less than 1000 US households drawn by Kish and his Michigan colleagues showed Dewey and Truman running very close together, with Truman in a slight lead, while commercial polls and the press predicted a Dewey landslide. Kish was also one of the first proponents of an annual rolling sampling, such as the American Community Survey, scheduled to replace the long form of the US decennial census by 2010.

Kish was widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on scientific population sampling, and received many honors and awards during his career. He was named a Russel Lecturer and elected president of the American Statistical Association. He also was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Statistical Society of England. His 1965 book, Survey Sampling, is still used around the world.

Kish's scholarly writing and innovative research continued after his formal retirement in 1981. He traveled extensively, consulting on sampling and multinational survey design with colleagues in the US and around the world. He was elected an honorary member of the International Statistical Institute and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy, on the occasion of its 900th anniversary.

Leslie Kish died on October 7, 2000 in Ann Arbor at age 90.

Note: This biography was excerpted from The University Record, October 16, 2000.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers of Professor Leslie Kish relate primarily to his activities as a university professor and to his research interests. Included as well is an extensive run of his various writings. The papers date from 1952 to 2001 and are divided into six series: Biographical Information, University of Michigan Administrative and Course Materials, Papers and Presentations, Institute of Social Research, Organizations and Activities, and Personal and Professional Correspondence.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Sampling (Statistics)
  • Social sciences -- Statistical methods.
  • Social surveys.
  • Sociology -- Study and teaching.
  • Sampling (Statistics)
  • Students, Foreign -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Videotapes.
  • Photographs.
  • Kish, Leslie, 1910-2000.
  • Spain. Ejército Popular de la República. Brigada Internacional, XV.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Sociology.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research.
  • Kish, Leslie, 1910-2000.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical Information [series]

The Biographical Information series contains Leslie Kish's vita, an interview published in 1996 and autobiographical information. A video prepared by the University of Michigan BMC Media is also included in this series.

Box   1  
Videocassette: "Reflections by Leslie Kish on a Lifetime of Survey Sampling," 2001 (VHS videocassette)
Box   1  
Biographical information and Vita
Box   1  
Article: "A conversation with Leslie Kish" by Martin Frankel and Benjamin King 1996
Box   1  
Autobiography: "Chapters from the life of Leslie Kish," undated
 
University of Michigan Administrative and Course Materials [series]

The University of Michigan Administrative and Course Materials series contains information related to the courses that Kish offered at the University of Michigan. It also includes information about the Sampling Program for Foreign Statisticians that he initiated at the Institute of Social Research. Photographs of this program are included in this series. This series is arranged alphabetically.

 
Administrative Information
 
Department of Sociology
 
Correspondence
Box   1  
Courses and Program 1952-1957, 1964-1968, 1972-1973, 1976
Box   1  
Faculty 1983, 1988, 1989
Box   1  
Reports 1975-1978
Box   1  
The Revitalized Professional MA Degree 1977-1978
Box   1  
Experiments and Studies in Statistics 1973, 1976, 1977
Box   1  
Graduate Program in Biostatistics 1976-1979, 1980, 1988-1989
Box   1  
Graduate Students Research Assistants 1974, 1975, 1978
Box   1  
Internationalization of the University Group 1988
Box   1  
Master Degree in Statistics with a Sociology Option 1967, 1971-1976, 1980, 1982
Box   1  
Proposal: PhDs in Sciences for Grades 9-12 1996
Box   1  
Social Statistics MA Program
 
Course Materials
 
Computer Programs
Box   1  
ABSERD undated
Box   1  
PSALMS undated
Box   1  
Course Offerings 1956-1958, 1968, 1975-1979
Box   1  
Freshman Seminar: "Chance, Life and Risk," 1981
Box   1  
Psych. 234: Theory of Sampling Surveys 1948
 
Sociology 612: Methods of Survey Sampling
Box   1  
Course Description 1964-1965, 1971, 1974-1978, 1980
Box   1  
Exams and Problems 1971, 1976-1978, 1983
Box   1  
Sociology 613: Advanced Methods of Survey Sampling 1983-1984
Box   1  
Sociology 614: Study Designs in Survey Research 1984-1985
Box   1  
Sociology 621: Workshop in Sampling Techniques 1976, 1979, 1981
Box   1  
Sociology 630: Research Methods in Population and Human Ecology 1964
Box   1  
Sociology 710: Statistical Research Design 1970, 1974-1979
Box   1  
Sociology 717: Methods and Theory of Sample Design 1963, 1968, 1970-1971, 1976-1978
 
Other Programs
 
Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques
Box   1  
Directories 1967-1968
Box   1  
Evaluations 1948, 1953, 1956, 1967
 
Sampling Program for Foreign Statisticians
Box   1  
Program Description undated
Box   1  
Student's' Directories 1961-1978, 1981-1982
 
Funding
Box   1  
Ford Foundation 1965-1980 (4 folders)
Box   2  
Various Sources of Support 1971, 1974-1982 (2 folders)
 
Photographs: Group portraits of participants
Box   2  
1966, 1971-1972
Box   2  
1975-1981
Box   2  
Reports 1979-1983
 
Students
Box   2  
Correspondence Regarding Students from Latin America 1961-1965
Box   2  
Abuzar Asra, Indonesia 1978
Box   2  
Eduardo Borja, Ecuador, and Mohamed Omer Dubed, Somali 1979
Box   2  
J.P. Banda, Zambia 1975-1979
Box   2  
Students' Survival Kit 1974-1975, 1980
Box   2  
Miscellaneous Information 1977
Box   2  
Sampling Program for Statisticians from Underdeveloped Countries 1961-1963
 
Summer Institute in Survey Sampling in Latin America
Box   2  
Program Description 1971
 
Correspondence
Box   2  
1968-1969
Box   2  
1970, 1974-1976
Box   2  
Workshop in Practical Problems of Survey Sampling for Central America, Mexico City 1976-1976
 
Papers and Presentations [series]

The Papers and Presentations series is arranged alphabetically and contains a wide variety of papers written by Kish about different topics in statistics, including his Ph.D. dissertation in 1952, "On the Differentiation of Ecological Units."

Box   2  
Book Reviews by Leslie Kish undated
 
Titled Papers
Box   2  
"Cumulating/Combining Population Surveys," 1999
Box   2  
"Developing Samplers for Developing Countries," 1995
Box   2  
"Hundred Years of Survey Sampling," 1997
Box   2  
"Large Scale Multipurpose Survey Sampling Errors," 1972
Box   2  
"Modular Design for Comparisons," 1978
Box   2  
"Multipurpose Sample Designs," 1987
Box   2  
"On the Differentiation of Ecological Units," 1952

(Leslie Kish Thesis)

Box   2  
"Randomization of Subjects over Treatments and over Populations," 1976
Box   2  
"Repetitiousness and Variability of Consumer Behavior," 1958
Box   2  
"Sampling," 1998
Box   2  
"Sampling Employers with Probabilities to a Measure Size," undated
Box   2  
"Sampling Methods for Agricultural Surveys," 1989
Box   2  
"Sampling Methods for Demography," 1980
Box   2  
"Some Efficient Random Imputation Methods," undated
Box   2  
"Space/Time Variations in Survey Estimates," 1995
Box   2  
"Special Aspects of Demographics Samples," undated
Box   2  
"Statistics for Correlated Selections," 1976
Box   2  
"Reflections on Survey Sampling and New Directions," 1992
Box   2  
"Weighting: Why, When and How?," 2000
 
Multiple Papers and Background Material on Various Topics
 
Censuses
Box   2  
1979-1983, 1985-1987
Box   2  
1990, 1993-1994, 1997-2000
Box   2  
Demographic Sampling 1980
Box   2  
Designs for Comparisons 1973
Box   2  
Falsifiability 1987
Box   2  
Imputation 1979-1980
Box   2  
Multipopulation Statistics 1997-1999
Box   2  
Multivariate Analysis 1956
Box   2  
Population Surveys 1958, 1961
 
Quota Sampling
Box   2  
1998
Box   2  
undated
Box   2  
Respondent Selection undated
Box   2  
Sampling Errors 1955-1956, 1968, 1871-1975
Box   2  
Sampling Methods undated
Box   3  
Social Indicators 1972, 1974
Box   3  
Statistics in China 1982, 1990, 1995
Box   3  
Variance Computations undated
Box   3  
Articles written for "Survey Statistician," 1978-1981, 1984-1985
 
Various Topics
Box   3  
1956-1961, 1966-1969
Box   3  
1970-1977
Box   3  
1980-1985, 1988, 1992
Box   3  
undated
 
Presentations given before professional organizations
Box   3  
Discussion on Conceptual and Theoretical Framework for Survey Sampling 1981
Box   3  
International Statistic Institute Sessions 1981-1983, 1993
Box   3  
Lectures in London 1972-1973
Box   3  
Lectures in Quito, Ecuador 1970-1975, 1979, 1983-1988
Box   3  
"Multi-city Area Samples for China," 1996
Box   3  
"On the Gap Between Mathematical Statistics and Survey Sampling," 1994
 
Institute of Social Research [series]

The Institute of Social Research series contains projects and proposals in which Kish and his colleagues worked at the institute. This series is arranged alphabetically. Some of these projects concern studies in economic behavior, electoral issues, and consumer finances studies, among others.

 
Administration
Box   3  
Institute of Social Research External Review Committee 1996
 
Memorandums
Box   3  
1953, 1960-1961, 1968-1974, 1978-1979
Box   3  
1981, 1983, 1985, 1988-1990
Box   3  
Sampling Activities and Procedures at the Survey Research Center undated
 
Funding and Proposals
Box   3  
Developmental Proposal 1984
Box   3  
Edgar Stern Family Fund 1961-1966
Box   3  
Funds for Population Research 1957
 
Grant Proposals
Box   3  
National Science Foundation 1965, 1969, 1970-1971, 1981
Box   3  
Various Sources of Support 1971, 1974
Box   3  
Proposal for a Survey on Chinese Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Inequality 1998-1999
Box   3  
Variance Components of Population Characteristics 1955-1958
 
Projects
Box   3  
Correspondence regarding projects 1946, 1951-1953
 
Detroit Area Study
Box   3  
Project Description 1976
Box   3  
A Study in Political Participation 1956-1957
Box   3  
Proposal for Strengthening the Detroit Area Study through a Partnership with SRC 1994
Box   3  
Sampling Errors and Variance Calculations 1952-1953
Box   3  
Selection of a Sample of Dwelling Units 1953-1956
Box   3  
Half-day Work Module 1961, 1973
Box   4  
HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study 1994-1998
Box   4  
Morbidity Project 1951
Box   4  
National Crime Survey Redesign 1979
Box   4  
Presidential Voting Study 1956
Box   4  
Projects Supported by the US Bureau of the Census 1975
 
Sampling Errors Projects
Box   4  
1950-1951, 1954-1955, 1959
Box   4  
1963-1966
Box   4  
1972-1973
Box   4  
Sampling Plan for Household Survey in Argentina undated
Box   4  
Sampling in Puerto Rico 1952
Box   4  
Standard Sample of Counties 1951-1952
Box   4  
Studies on Consumer Attitudes and Inclinations to Buy 1963
Box   4  
Suggested Field Procedures 1946, 1948, 1951, 1954
Box   4  
Survey of Consumer Finances 1948, 1950-1957
Box   4  
Survey Sampling Techniques 1977-1986
Box   4  
Telephone Survey Component of the 1984 National Election Studies, 1983-1984 1983-1984
 
Research Ideas
Box   4  
1951-1952
Box   4  
undated
 
Miscellaneous Projects
Box   4  
1943, 1946, 1950, 1954
Box   4  
1970, 1979, 1981, 1994
 
Social Research Center Sections
Box   4  
Consumer Finances Section 1949-1953
Box   4  
Economic Behavior Program 1950-1953, 1956-1957, 1972
Box   4  
Economic Survey Section 1950, 1954
 
Sampling Section
Box   4  
Administrative Information 1958, 1960-1961, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1979
Box   4  
Studies 1949, 1951-1958
 
Organizational and Other Activities [series]

The Organizational and Other Activities series is arranged alphabetically and contains information about organizations in which Kish was part. This includes the American Statistical Association, of which he was president and the International Association of Survey Statisticians. This series also contains information that demonstrates the commitment of Leslie Kish to peace. Kish was of the faculty who signed a petition to President Lyndon B. Johnson to stop the bombing in Vietnam.

 
American Statistical Association
Box   4  
Correspondence 1987-1989
Box   4  
Committee on Statistics and National/International Security 1987-1991 (3 folders)
Box   4  
Session: "Continuing Education in Statistics," 1975
Box   4  
International Association of Survey Statisticians 1978, 1984-1987
Box   4  
Petition to Stop the Bombing of North Vietnam 1967
 
Senate Assembly
Box   4  
1968-1972
Box   4  
1996-1997
Box   4  
UNESCO Prize for Peace 1990-1994
 
Personal and Professional Correspondence [series]

The Organizational and Other Activities series is arranged alphabetically and contains information about organizations in which Kish was part. This includes the American Statistical Association, of which he was president and the International Association of Survey Statisticians. This series also contains information that demonstrates the commitment of Leslie Kish to peace. Kish was of the faculty who signed a petition to President Lyndon B. Johnson to stop the bombing in Vietnam.

Box   5  
A Correspondence
Box   5  
1978-1981 (2 folders)
Box   5  
1985-1999 (3 folders)
Box   5  
B Correspondence 1977-1997 (3 folders)
 
C Correspondence
Box   5  
1977-1989
Box   5  
1990-1995, 1998
 
China
Box   5  
1983, 1986-1989
Box   5  
1990-1991, 1994-1996
 
D Correspondence
Box   5  
1977-1981
Box   5  
1984-1998
Box   5  
E Correspondence 1977-1978, 1980-1988, 1990-1994
 
F Correspondence
Box   5  
1978-1984
Box   5  
1985-1990, 1992-1996
Box   5  
G Correspondence 1978-1989, 1991-1992, 1995-1998, 2000
 
H Correspondence
Box   5  
1978-1988
Box   5  
1990-1998, 2000
Box   5  
I Correspondence 1978-1981, 1988-1990, 1992, 1995
Box   5  
J Correspondence 1977-1985, 1988-1997
 
K Correspondence
Box   5  
1978-1984
Box   6  
1985-1989
Box   6  
1991-2000
Box   6  
L Correspondence 1979-1999 (3 folders)
 
M Correspondence
Box   6  
1977-1984
Box   6  
1985-1992, 1995-2000
Box   6  
N Correspondence 1978-1989, 1991, 1994-1997
Box   6  
O Correspondence 1979-1981, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1998
Box   6  
P, Q Correspondence 1976-1996
Box   6  
R Correspondence 1978-2000 (2 folders)
Box   6  
S Correspondence 1977-2000 (4 folders)
 
T Correspondence
Box   6  
1975-1979
Box   6  
1980-1989
Box   6  
1991-1997, 2000
Box   6  
U and V Correspondence 1978-1982, 1985-1988, 1990-1997
 
W Correspondence
Box   6  
1974-1979
Box   6  
1980-1989
Box   6  
1990-1999
Box   6  
X, Y Z Correspondence 1978-1984, 1987, 1991, 1995-2000